Tuesday, June 23, 2015

A Smile a Day Keeps the Psychiatrist Away?

      I found it extremely interesting to read about how your facial expression can truly affect your mood.  A smile can give you a subtle boost to your emotional state because emotions, in and of themselves, are embodied. Rosenblum explains that the act of thinking about an emotion is somewhat responsible for the subtle changes in a number of bodily states that are associated with emotion. In this, when emotions are embodied, he explains that they each correspond to a specific group of body states, both neurophysiologically and muscularly. There is a belief that the body states involve the motor actions of our faces, therefore by changing the actual facial muscular action itself, the emotion itself is then altered, albeit slightly.
         My grandmother always said to us that even if your feeling down, "get up, get dressed, and get out with a smile on".  She always believed that acting positive and like nothing was wrong, would in turn actually make someone feel better.  Turns out, is is both accurate and inaccurate.  While there are definite changes in our emotional states, as cited by the pen experiment in the book, it does not have a strong power to pull you from a severely down mood.  Maybe she was able to notice a stronger correlation of that in herself. I have always felt that if I smile, i think more positively as well, and feel that this effects me significantly.  


  1. I agree with you. I think a smile is a show of confidence. I work in the medical field and when I meet with my patients I am always smiling. I believe that my patients are more receptive to therapy when they work with a happy upbeat medical professional. I think that by me smiling, it brings down the wall of apprehension they might have about learning a new skill to help them cope with their ailment. I also use smiling as non-verbal cues to let my patients know that everything will be okay or just try it! I am here to help. Of course when my patients or their families fill out the survey about their experience, they always remember the smiling therapist and not my last name.

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